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It was a
Lord Burghersh kept a pack of reverence due to those of station, harriers, and hunted thrice a-week. as separated from others of neither There was a Jockey Club and a station nor character—the past has good racing subscription; and what much to boast over the present. with riding-parties, whist, dancing, It was a fatal mistake for women ecarté, and Airting, it was wonder- to suffer the present free-and-easy ful how rapidly time flew over, and tone in their salons. In losing the how grave our faces grew when especial prestige that belonged to the calls of Parliament and the de- them as ladies, they surrendered mands of the London season came much that divided them from a to throw their shadows over the glo- class who, in mere looks and toilrious spring-time in the Cascine. ette, can always be their rivals : I am certain it is not the mere and I will say it, that he who had spirit of the laudator temporis acti attempted the lounging impertinthat prompts me to speak of these ence, the self-sufficient indifference things in such eulogy. I can ac- to others, and the blank vacuity in knowledge how in many ways the all that regards agreeability, in the world of the present day has gained times I speak of, would have as on the world of my boyhood. One certainly found himself excluded travels better and faster; one dines from society as the knave or the better at small cost; the newspapers blackleg. are more interesting, more varied, A certain amount of bad morals better written, and in a tone more has always passed muster in the congenial to the best spirit of so- world; but the ingredient never ciety. Intercourse, generally, is did real mischief till it was associsafer than it used to be; we have ated with bad manners. some Bores, but few Bullies ; but— poison, but it was a poison in a I say it advisedly-society has not well-stoppered phial. Now, the now, as it had then, that marvel- custom is not only to uncork the lous flavour of high-hearted pleas- bottle, but, like the Swedish ure, that racy enjoyment of people Prince with his scent flacon, to who were not too languid to be sprinkle the company! brilliant, nor too lackadaisical to be It is certainly a great day—a witty. The salt of the cleverest grand era—for the stupid people! men and the most engaging women none so dull that he cannot be inseasoned all intercourse ; and the solent, none so stolid but he can effort was to keep up to the level of smoke. We have taken the level the pleasantest, and not, as we see of the lowest capacities as our it now, to bring all down to the social standard, and voted as vuluniform dulness of those Lord Dun- gar all capacities above the dreary drearies, who, except in their clever insufficiency of our dullest! Make satirist, are the heaviest social in- the most of it, ye ensigns and small fliction ever an age was cursed civil servants. It can't last for with.
ever—no more than the Whig GovThe Haw-haw tone of those crea- ernment, nor the shoddy aristotures, whose whiskers are so fa- cracy in America. miliar to us in ‘Punch, did not Now they have it certainly all exist in those days. It was the their own way; and I'd back fashion for men to be manly and Gumsley of the 109th, with his for women to be feminine. I will green complexion and his cat's not say that, morally speaking, mustaches, for a social success there was much to the advantage against Brinsley Sheridan, if you of the period. It was not better, could bring him back, with all the though assuredly not worse, than wit of 'The Rivals' and all the fun our present day; and in all that of “The Critic.' I suspect in our regards externals—in fitting defer- taste for tobacco we have grown ence to ladies, in the distinctive to be Turkified, and place our El
Dorado in a state of perfect "do nothing startling, nothing sensationnothingness.”
al. There was a nice soft drowsy To tell the really pleasant people dulness that aided digestion, and of the world to take their tone never conduced to dreams. from such as these, is like ordering In the evening the “society” a regiment to take their time from rendezvoused in a sombre old house, a corps of cripples, and to march with narrow windows in front and with a shuffle to suit the step of a small somewhat gloomy-looking the lame. But the thing is done, garden behind, where lived a large and we see it, and there is no help old white-haired man with his niece. for it; and now,
to come back to Though a man of grand presence this poor city, of which I am tempt- and imposing mien, with much diged to say, as the Emperor did on nity in his address, he was very his return from Elba, “Qu'avez fond of mixing with the young vous fait de cette (Florence) que je people of the company, and especiVOUS ai laissér si belle ?"
ally with a number of young EngThe passion for making large lishmen who at that period resided States may conduce to that plea- at Weimar for the advantages of sant Utopia called the Balance of military education. At the time I Power, though I have grave doubts tell of, there was amongst them one of it; but assuredly it does not con- who is now a duke, with one of the duce to the happiness of mankind. greatest historic names in Europe.
If so humble an object as happi. With these generally this old gentleness could occupy the lofty intelli- man frequently conversed, or, more gences of statesmen, it might be frequently still, discoursed, telling worth while to consider for a mo- of his travels in Italy, the objects ment whether small States had not, which had held the chief place in from the very fact of their unambi- his memory, the galleries he had tious position and narrow limits, seen, the society he had frequented, immense advantages in this respect. the distinguished men whose acSaxe - Weimar and Tuscany, as I quaintance he had made; and all knew them some thirty years ago, these with occasional touches of are the witnesses I should like to picturesque description, traits of put in the box.
humour, and now and then a deep Weimar was of course very in feeling which held his little audiferior in all claims to wealth, luxury, tory in rapt astonishment that he or refinement. It was a small vil- could hold them there entranced, lage-like capital, with a miniature while they could not, when he had palace, a miniature theatre, a quaint done, recall any of the magic by old park, and a quaint old Platz. which he worked his spell. I say this
The Court dined at four o'clock, because I myself remember to have and, rising at six, went out to stroll, tried to repeat a story he told, and grand duke and duchess and all, once, more hazardous still, to convey in the park. Dear me! what a some impression of how he talked; strange medley of simplicity and and with what lamentable failure formality, rural enjoyment and eti- let my present confession atone for. quette, cowslips and curtsies, many The task would have tried a better selected compliments and tobacco- man, for him whom I essayed to smoke! but very soothing and tran- represent was Goethe. quillising withal. If you sat down It was only a few years before to whist with the Hoch-Wohl-Gebo- that very time I speak of, that ren, Herr Geheimerath, or the the choice society of Florence was Staats Secretär, you could scarcely wont to assemble each evening at be ruined at groschen points any a large palace on the Arno. It is more than you would be driven to the third as you pass down from suicide by an unhappy passion for the Ponte St Trinita.
There a his yellow daughter. Then life had royal personage, albeit she had de
flected from her bright sphere, re- thinker. He was witty, but with ceived, and all that was great a scathing, withering, blasting wit and noble and brilliant, or, better that burned where itfell: he disliked still, beautiful, came to talk or to England, but with a sense of reverlisten, be flattered or be worship- ence for her great qualities. As to ped, or, what I am half given to France, he hated and despised her. believe is nearly as good, to flatter In her influence over his own counand worship-not doing the thing try, Italy, he foresaw nothing but grudgingly, or in any fashion of misfortune, and declared that to conconstraint, as in our prudish Eng- summate Italian degeneracy no more land we should do it, but “going was wanting than infuse into the in” with a will, and giving to national character the scoffing inthose liquid vowels of the soft credulity and the degenerate levity south all the ring and resonance of the Gaul. This man was Alfieri! of a deep-felt sentiment. It was a It was no mean era when Gergood type, that same society, of the many and Italy were so repremingled passion and weakness, the sented. And now—shall I go on apathy, the earnestness, the vigorous to mark the contrast? No, I prefer energy, and the voluptuous indol- holding the defendants over till ence of Italian life. One talker, a next month, when the weather tall, dark-complexioned, stern-look- may possibly be somewhat cooler, ing man, with closely - set black and my sentence be more merciful eyes, pré - eminent above all for than if pronounced with the merthat sort of brilliant discursive talk cury near 100°, and my brains at which has its charm at times for the temperature that makes parthe veriest trifler and the deepest affine explosive.
REV. CHARLES KINGSLEY AND DR NEWMAN.
A DUEL in dialectics between through. And they much lament Dr Newman and Mr Charles Kings- that, owing to his lack of judgment, ley is not in any sense of the term higher interests than the personal an agreeable spectacle. Both are, reputation of a rash man should indeed, men of some note, each in be endangered. For Mr Kingsley his own way.
Both have endea- is entirely and wantonly the aggresvoured, not without a certain mea- sor in this dispute. Without any sure of success, to give a bias provocation given, he went out of through their writings to public his way to fling against Dr Newopinion; and each has his own man a charge to which no gentlecircle of admirers, who will, doubt- man can patiently submit; and then, less, be ready to accept and to instead of retracting or apologising applaud whatever their favourite for what never ought to have been champion may affirm. But impartial written, he aggravated the offence judges see the matter in a different by trying to account for it. The point of view. They regret, for circumstances of the case are briefly very many reasons, that such a col- these :lision should have occurred. They In the number of 'Macmillan's perceive that truth, which is or Magazine' for January of this year, ought to be the end of all contro- Mr Kingsley reviewed the seventh versy, can never be elicited from and eighth volumes of Froude's such a war of words as this. They History of England,' assuming, as therefore blame Mr Kingsley for is his wont, a high moral tone involving himself in a dispute throughout the essay, and exulting which, from the constitution of in his own and his country's Prohis mind, he was ill able to carry testantism. We are far from finding
fault with him on that account and then look about for excuses It is a portion of his idiosyncrasy wherewith to account for them ? to talk big on every possible oc- Surely there were great excuses casion of English independence of for her shrinking from throwing thought and English chivalry; and good money after bad, whether into Protestantism in particular, espe- Scotland or into the Netherlands.” cially English Protestantism, bas, “She had,” it seems,
a vast and in his mind, a very extended signi- unexampled part to play in an age fication. Mr Froude, for example, in which all that was old was rockthe author whom he is reviewing ing to its ruin, and all that was new
- the author likewise of the was unformed and untried.” 'Nemesis of Faith'—is “intense- for her falsehoods, they brought ly Protestant." His Protestantism their own punishment, so swiftly takes, however, a far more generous and so often, that they cured themaspect than that of his reviewer. selves.” Let our readers mark this He whitewashes Henry VIII. ; he in reference to what is to follow. purges Mary from the stains which It is admitted that Elizabeth was have heretofore rested on her char- guilty of falsehood; but forasacter, and justifies Protestant- much as her punishment was ism (to his readers) not by one- prompt and frequent, falsehood on sided and unjust fanaticism, but her part changed in some degree by fairly seeing and setting forth, its character. It became venial, if from a human point of view, the not praiseworthy. “Moreover, we faith, the struggles of conscience, must remember the morality of the martyrdoms of the heroes of the time was low. If it had not the old faith, of More, of Fisher, been low, the Reformation would of the poor monks of the Charter- not have been needed.” For “the
This is at all events gen- Roman religion had for some time
We say nothing of its back been making men not better justice, so far as Henry and his but worse.' daughter are concerned ; but of its
“And the worst of it was that, when generosity in dealing with the pro- the moral canon of the Pope's will was fessors of a faith not Protestant gone, there was for a while no canon of there can be no doubt. How morality left. The average morality comes it that Mr Kingsley, who of Elizabeth's reign was not so much can applaud such conduct in an
low as capricious, self-willed, fortuitous other, is yet unable himself to magnificent one day in virtue, terrible
the next day in vice. It was not till pursue it? Is he afraid to avow a
more than one generation had grown up Protestantism so extended as that. and died with the Bible in their hands, of which his author may be taken that Englishmen and Germans began to to be the representative? Or does understand what Frenchmen and Italithe circumstance arise out of that
ans did not understand, that they were strange confusion of ideas from
to be judged by the everlasting laws of
a God who is no respecter of persons.” which, let him discuss what topic he may, Mr Kingsley seems incap- We must confess that, so far as able of extricating himself? The Mr Kingsley is concerned, we find latter we suspect to be the true cause ourselves pretty much in the conof the phenomenon, otherwise he dition of the Frenchmen and the would have scarcely spoken as he Italians. We certainly do not undoes of the manner in which Mr derstand what our author is aimFroude deals with his own great fa- ing at. The morality of Elizabeth's vourite, Queen Elizabeth. What! time was either low, or it was not has it come to this ? Must we accept, low; we can't exactly see how it after all, as proven, the many charges could be “magnificent in virtue which Mr Froude brings against the one day, and terrible in vice the virgin queen,--of falsehood, ava- next.” But let that pass. From rice, cruelty, and other dark crimes, Elizabeth to the accession of the
first George we count not fewer tirely satisfied. But this fact, as it than six generations. They were could not be known to Mr Kingsgenerations which had grown up ley at the time, so it forms no exand died with the Bible in their cuse for the course which he judged bands, if by that expression be it expedient to follow. meant—which had lived and died Mr Kingsley's attack upon Dr under the sway of a Protestant Newman was not only cruel, it was Government. We should be glad injudicious. He could scarcely exto know which canon of morals Mr pect that it would fail to provoke Kingsley prefers—that which sent retort ; and self-conceit must be in More to the scaffold, when, by a him even stronger than we take it little allowable lying, he might have to be, if he ever for a moment ansaved his own life, and served the ticipated other issue than defeat interests of his Church ; or that from a controversy entered into so which converted the Protestant rashly and on such grounds. Be Palace of St James's into a stew, this, however, as it may, controand taught all classes of English versy came, and with it not merely society to laugh at chastity, so- the exposure of considerable ignobriety, and truth, even among the rance and much presumption on clergy. But Mr Kingsley is not con- the part of the cha nger, but on tent to stop here. “So again,” he the other side one of the most observes, " with the virtue of truth : deeply interesting dissections which truth for its own sake had never has ever been submitted to public been a virtue with the Roman gaze, of a mind enthusiastic, senclergy. Father Newman informs sitive, not always happy in disus that it need not, and on the criminating between reason and whole ought not; that cunning is imagination, but earnest in its the weapon which heaven has given search after light, and sadly missto the saints wherewith to with- ing it at the last. No one, after stand the brute main force of the reading “Apologia pro Vita sua, wicked world, which marries and is will pretend to say that Dr Newgiven in marriage. Whether his
man was at any time influenced by notion be doctrinally correct or unworthy motives. That he has not, it is at least historically so. attained to what he sought-the
For some years previously to the truth-we, as honest and sincere appearance of this not very delicate Protestants, cannot for a moment rebuke, Father Newman had with- admit; but if man ever made himdrawn himself, as it would appear self a martyr in the cause of what tenderly, from the strife of tongues. he believed to be the truth, Dr Rumour was of course busy about Newman is that man.
Let us rehim, and tales were told of bitter turn, however, to the case before us. dissatisfactio with the past, and Mr Kingsley had struck a rude something like an eclipse of hope blow at one who gave him no proin reference to the future. Mr vocation. He was courteously reKingsley has not lived for the quested either to retract and apololast four or five years out of the gise, or to justify by proof the world, so that probably the stories assertion which had been hazarded. which circulated elsewhere may He preferred the latter course, and have reached him. They were made reference in general terms to groundless stories, it is true. Dr a sermon ‘On Wisdom and InnoNewman, in the remarkable volume cence, which Dr Newman had which we shall presently endea- preached so long ago as 1844 from vour to analyse, has shown clearly the pulpit of St Mary's Church in enough that, whatever may have Oxford. The correspondence which been the amount of his sufferings followed has all been printed, and while travelling up to a great re- may be consulted by such as are sult, with the result itself he is en- curious in details; but, for our pre